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Authored by luxury lifestyle blogger Franki Durbin. Celebrating the very best life has to offer.

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Franki Durbin.
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by Franki Durbin.

September 03, 2007

Spice of Life Giveaway

September_giveaway_2
Add some spice to your life with a hip Jesse Steele apron and matching oven mitts. The Pepper Kids is giving one of three styles away to a lucky Venti Cup winner just for telling us about your most prized dining experience.

Here's the skinny on the adorable apron shown above:

As seen on Oprah's "Wildest Dreams" show; we bring you Jessie Steele; a line of high quality hostess aprons crafted for the domestic goddess. Featuring lively colors and strong black and white combinations with flirty patterns and cuts; this line brings a vintage-like quality back to your kitchen! These aprons make for a wonderful hostess; wedding or shower gift. Coordinate your apron with your little girl or granddaughter as some styles are available in toddler/ child sizes. Machine washable. One size.

Pott_mitt_black_and_whiteAll of us enjoy a unique individual style. Pepper Kids celebrates this and has been kind enough to offer our winner the choice of three apron designs. Choose from Onyx, Black & White or Josephine Toile. Aprons normally run $31 and the matching mitts are $7 at ThePepperKids.com. All Venti Cup shoppers can save $5 off their purchase today simply by entering the code "Venti" at checkout. How fabulous is that?

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment telling us about your most memorable fine dining experience. Whether you enjoyed tenderloin at Per Se in NYC, fois gras at French Laundry or exotic fare at hideaway in the European countryside, we'd love to hear the story of your peak culinary adventure. Tell us where you dined and all about your fabulous meal.

One winner will be selected at random from the entries to win the prize package worth $38. Comments must be left by midnight CST on September 24. Contestants must leave their email, blog URL and a comment telling us about the restaurant. Happy storytelling! And in the meantime, add a little spice to your domestic life by using your $5 Venti Cup promotional code. If it's good enough for Oprah...

 

What the beautiful people are saying...

I love the Onyx design, very chic!

My favourite restaurant is the Michelin-starred White Room at Seaham Hall here in gorgeous County Durham, England. I attended a wedding there and fell in love with the place, the food, the presentation, everything! This post has reminded me I really must visit it again soon :-)

My most memorable dining experience was at Mustards up in northern CA. When my sisters and I walked in, we noticed a big fuss around a nearby table. It happened to be a party that included Julia Child! We couldn't keep our eyes off her, but didn't want to disturb her. When they got up to leave, I raced out to the parking lot with my camera; my picture of Julia is of the back of her head in the car window leaving the lot. *L* I have no memory of the meal.

Love Jessie Steele aprons and I’ve always loved the Damask pattern on the Onyx apron. Classic!

Recently, I had an absolutely amazing dining experience with my Fiancé. At the recommendation of a friend, we dined at Harvest on the Hudson in Hasting, NY. Overlooking the Hudson River and the Palisades, this Farmhouse is the most beautiful, romantic, warm and cozy restaurant that I’ve ever had the privilege to dine. I had the Country Salad of warm goat cheese, Crispy Ahi Tuna with a Moroccan carrot salad and a glass of Riesling. The food was fresh, flavorful and local. When I say local, I do mean local, as most of the produce is grown in their garden that is located on the premises.

The service was exceptional. Our Server’s name was Nicholas, he was friendly, knowledgeable and extremely attentive.

Harvest on the Hudson made such an impression on my Fiancé and I that we are now having our engagement party their instead of having it in the city.

My first memorable dining experience was this past Valentine's Day. We went to a restaurant called Portland City Grill located in downtown Portland, Oregon. The restaurant sits on the 35th floor of one of the tallest buildings in Portland. Their are ceiling to floor windows through the dining area and the bar area. Any where you sit in this magnificent restaurant and bar you will have beautiful of view of Portland and beyond. It's breathtaking.

my favorite fine dining experience was restaurant hopping in disneyworld's epcot for our honeymoon. we dined at some great places from "around the world"

such fabulous stories already! I loved your Julie Child story, Sequana. A celeb sighting during a meal is a good excuse for forgetting what you ate. ;)

..and Sarah, I can almost taste your meal! What a lovely description!

wonderful, wonderful aprons.

i confess to wearing aprons for nostalgic reasons only.
nothing wrong with that!
i feel glamourous
like a mother on a TV show from the 1950s.

such fun, really.

one of my most memorable fine dining experience took place at the Ristorante Lumie di Sicilia in Rome last spring. i arrived alone and early for dinner. the owner took pity on me, showed me his kitchen and let me watch the chef prepare different dishes. turned into a cooking lesson.
it was wonderful!

i later enjoyed a five course meal that was light, tasty and beyond descrption.

i enjoyed a soup, a small fresh salad, a pasta dish flavored with orange, a fish dish and two different sweets for dessert...but not in that order.

something yummy with almonds
was nearly my undoing...

i do not remember the names of the dishes but i do remember that the owner stopped by my table and visited with me. learning his stories--and those of his wives--made me feel so welcomed.

a couple at the next table shared their wine with me and what a grand time.

a memorable meal is so much more than simply great tasting food, i think.

:-)

My best dining experience was at Citronelle in Washington DC. All amazing and worth the hefty price tag!

being wined and dined in nyc with my wonderful husband

i would love to enjoy the big apple

I NEED POTHOLDER BECAUSE IT'S WAY TO HOT!

My most memorable dining experience was at the Olive Garden in Paducah, KY. They treat you like king and queen there.

thank you always in need of these items My most memorable dining experience was in chicago at their medievil restaurant. Get this they have sparing and knights to entertain you and the men can not come in unless your children or you say its okay. What a blast for a dinner get away for the whole family

My most memorable dining experience was three years ago I had the pleasure of dining at the outdoor restaraunt in the Eden Roc Resort the food was so delicious,the ambiance was wonderful it was a night I wil never forget

I had a wonderful opportunity to have dinner at a small italian resturant, Mimmo's, a few months ago. It was just a little quaint resturant, but the food was the best that I've ever had, the service was superb and the atmosphere was so intimate. We can't wait to go there again.

An authentic mexican restaurant in Old Town San Diego. I don't remember the name but the food was spicy and wonderful. Fresh tortillas, limes, salsa, strolling mariachi. It was one of the best places to eat.

I love to cook , these would be great.

My most memorable dining experience didn't happen at a restaurant.

One of my cousins was getting married at a lake on the island I live on. We drove up island to the lake and found ourselves surrounded by dozens of fresh sockeye salmon being bbq'd for the reception.

I will never forget this salmon (or the wedding) The salmon literally melted in my mouth, it was moist, fragrant and absolutely delicious.

This was 16 yrs ago and I remember it as if it were yesterday. I find myself comparing all salmon to the salmon I had at my cousin's wedding reception that hot summer day.

throwing up on marachino cherries as a kid in a restaurant. still don't like them

i love these thing

An event that became a family tradition was dining at a Jaxx In Northeast Minneapolis. As a young child, it was a thrill to see the matchbooks lining the tables stating "Happy Birthday Ruth", as a teen, I enjoyed the special cider when they popped the cork to celebrate. As an adult, I looked forward to their signature steaks and brook. As an adult, now living thousands of miles from 'home' and Minneapolis, more than anything, I love the moments and memories spent with my mom and dad, who went out of their way to make each and every birthday special. It wasn't the surroundings or the food, it was the time spent with them that made it so grand.

Lisbon, Portugal. We booked dinner at the most expensive restaurant in town. When we arrived all we saw was a plaque with a doorbell. We tentatively rang it and a man opened the door and greeted us by name. He then took us into a living room type area for cocktails and showed us the menu. We ate 3 amazing courses of food. The tables never turned. We were one of only 3 parties in the restaurant. The food was delicious, wines were amazing and the service was beyond gracious. They even waited with us until our cab came to collect us.

I went to a really neat resturant dessert event. It was on a class trip to Atlanta, and we ate desserts while the resturant spinned and had a fantastic view of the city.

The Mauna Lani on the BigIsland of Hawaii

These are cool.. enter us!

The best fine-dining experience I had was at the Mont Tremblant ski resort in Quebec. The chef there prepared each meal with such exquisite French sauces, each dish was sheer perfection!

Livin' large.

fashion in the kitchen

My nicest dining experience was at a nice romantic Italian restaurant. My boyfriend at the time ordered a nice red wine. As he finished pouring it, he proposed marriage and gave me a beautiful engagement ring!

Wonderful stories! From fine French dining to authentic Italian lessons from true Romans....ahhh... It's time for me to board a plane again soon. ladies. I can feel it!

I fell in love 35 years ago with Court of Two Sisters in the French Quarter, New Orleans. The champaign and strawberries at brunch can't be beat.

we have a little local italian place here we love to go to as a family

my favorite fine dining experience was restaurant hopping in disneyworld's epcot for our honeymoon. we dined at some great places from "around the world"

My husband took me to a rotating restaurant in the sky for a surprise on my birthday. It was a wonderful and special night and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

My most memorable meal was at now closed restaurant Aubergine in Newport Beach owned by Tim and Liza Goodell.

Because I knew a few of the staff members and had done some graphic work for Tim and Liza they did a full course tasting menu for me and my guest along with a wine paring. The french style cuisine was amazing and I still have dreams about that food 7+ yrs later. Tim and Liza have moved on to bigger projects in LA but that place was always my favorite.

Lucky for me I still know the pastry chef who is the best in the biz Shelly Register who has moved over to the Island Hotel in Newport Beach...I keep waiting for her to start her own thing. You truly will never have a dessert anywhere that is as good as her work. Her understanding of flavor is unprecedented

During our recent trip to spain we had a delicious paella and sangria meal in an outdoor plaza facing a century-old church. Everything was so beautiful.

Fine dining? find dining fine!

My most memorable dining experience was when I met Patricia. I don't even remember the restaurant or the food.

COOL i WNAT IT

I so want this!!

My first most memorable dining experience was for a friend's 18th birthday party. Five of us dressed up and went to "The Melting Pot," a fondue restaurant in Portland, OR. Bread with cheese fondue for the appetizer, small pieces of meat that you cook yourself in a beef broth fondue, and then of course a chocolate fondue with fruit and cookies to finish up! Yummy!

My most memorable dining experience was on my 25th birthday which I spent in the south of france. I had rented a car and just set off driving. I ended up in a town which honestly I have no idea what the name of it was.. and we were hungry and very very lost. There was a sign for a resteraunt that kept giving odd directions.. through a park.. under a bridge.. through a weird path in the woods.. I honestly started to think it was some sort of joke. Turns out we ended up in someone's backyard who during the summer has a inpromtu resteraunt (this was october) he was a bit suprised to see us mulling around his backyard and invited us inside. It was the most amazing meal I have ever had though honestly I have NO idea what I was eating. The trip back to my car however was not as nice as trying to find my way back in darkness proved not so easy. LOL

Eating at an open air restaurant by the cliffs and ocean in Antigua for our honeymoon.

Lisa, what a charming way to spend and evening in France. I would love to know what they prepared for you... as I'm sure you would love to know!

Great memory!

My favorite dining experience was at The Palm restaurant. We went for our anniversary and both the food and service was incredible !!

Great Contest! My favorite dining experiences have been holiday meals in my large Italian family.

Great products...

My most memorable dining experience was having a glorious meal in the Pool Room of The Four Seasons. Delicious!!!

eating on the floor on Eua' in Tonga

One of my most memorable dining experiences was when I had just graduated college. My Mother took me to France for the first time for my grad present. We stayed in Paris where we had many a sumptuous meal. But then we rented a car and drove the country roads down through Provence. Honestly, I do not remember the town, but we got to a hotel late and were tired and hungry. We went to the hotel restaurant which was highly recommended. In many of the restauants, if you ordered fish, it was presented to you before cooking for approval. However, in this case, they forgot to present and brought the raw fish out for my Mother along with my prepared meal. When the waitress realized what had happened, she was mortified saying "Mon Deau" over and over. Quite a fuss was made. The chef came out and personally apologized. They prepared the trout and would not let us pay for anything! I do not remember the meal,( although I remember it being great.) What I do remember is thinking how wonderfully we were treated, especially for being two women alone. Vive la France!

My favorite fine dining experience was my first - at the five star Maisonette restaurant in 1974 when I was in high school. We went as a field trip and I didn't have a jacket so they fitted me with some horrible mothballed relic from their collection. I have no idea what I ate but I distinctly remember my amazement that food could be so different.

I went to Nikolai's Roof at the Hilton in Atlanta. It was a wonderful experience. Probably something I'll never get to do again. The view was stunning! We arrived just in time to see the sun setting. Absolutely gorgeous!

trip to rome- we had spaghetti with clams, and it was served to us in seashells

I guess my favorite was on a Royal Carribean Cruise with my family. The entertainment is great and the waiters get to know exactly what you like to eat & drink. My waiter was wonderful, he knew that I liked shrimp cocktail so he brought it to me almost every night even when it wasn't on the menu. If my kids didn't like what they ordered he would take it back and get them something else. They cut up your food and take the lobster out of the shell, they do everything except feed you. It was wonderful. If you get a chance you should at least take one. And don't leave your kids at home, mine enjoyed it more than any other vacation.

My favorite fine dining experience was at the "Isle of Capri" in Virigina Beach. We ate great Italian food & it reminded me of the song "Isle of Capri," which my grandfather used to sing to me when I was litte.

Wow!!

I was on vacation in Mexico and the restaraunts were all on the beach. I enjoyed all the local cusine and especially the calamari!

I truly enjoy a great steak at our local Steak and Ale. For my appetizer I always have escargot on toast.

I love seafood so my favorite restaraunt experiences are all centered around fine dining with lots of seafood!

My favorite dining experience ever was at The Yacht Club of Greece, sitting outside on the terrace overlooking all of Piraeus.
The best food and wine I have partaken of anywhere in the world.

My favorite was at a lakeside local restaurant in Minnesota. It was our 25th wedding anniversary. We were seated nest to a window, the view was wonderful. The prime Rib was the best!

I still miss lunchtimes sitting outside in the summer at a beautiful little pub garden in Berkshire. Eating the most wonderful hot game sandwiches and drinking real ale. Beats a fancy restaurant in my books

I recently had the pleasure of treating 9 of my friends to dinner at Craftsteak in Las Vegas. We had the Kobe Surf and Turf Chef's Tasting Menu. I have never had such a meal in my life. The beef was so delicate, the lobsters, divine, and the desserts were absolutely sinful.

One of my most memorable dining experiences was for a friend's 18th birthday. We went out to a fondue restaurant! Bread cubes with the best cheese fondue to start, cubes of meat that we cooked ourselves in beef broth fondue, and finished off with fruit and cookies to dip in chocolate fondue. Mmmm, I want to go back now!!

My family and I had the most astonishing dinner ever. We ate at the Corla Reef at Disney Word. It was wonderful. We had the best service and we got to watch sharks swimm as we ate 5-course meals! I wouldn't ever go to Disney without going there. We really lucked out, because people usually make their reservations far, far in advance. We were told how great it was and thought we would never get to experience that,then, they called us and told us they had a cancelation.It was the best food I've eaten in my life. If you ever go to Disney make sure you doin't miss this place!!!

You know, I've never been to a fine dining establishment. The closest would probably be when the family went to Timberlodge Steakhouse. Can you believe it; $20 for a steak!! It was a darn good steak though.

The night my husband proposed to me we dined at Marcello's in Danville, California.

The food was impeccable, the atmosphere was perfect for the occaison. Very romantic. The owner brought a complimentary bottle of wine to celebrate and everything was amazing!!!

I used to attend the many events of the Indianapolis 500 race festivities and my most memorable was the Mayor's Breakfast where the fruit juice of the morning was a "Whiskey Sour" drink.

WE STAYED AT THE BELIGIO IN VEGAS AND HAD A WONDERFUL TIME DINING THERE. THE COUPLE BEHIND US PAID OVER A THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR CAVIER!

Beef tournadoes at Crickets restaurant,in Chicago years ago, were the epitome of melt-in-your-mouth tenderness.

contest, i like beligio in vegas and dining there.

Fabulous...

My daughter was a senior in college when she worked as server at Stage Left in New Brunswick, NJ. She was excited to take us--her parents and her boyfriend-- there for a lovely seven course meal with wine pairings. The food and service were top-notch. Apparently, though, this was first time her boyfriend experienced an evening of fine dining. They are still close friends, but I knew that their relationship wouldn't become serious when he proudly crafted a smiley face out of the cheese course.

I invited my sister down to dine at Ruth's Chris. We ordered everything on the menu, it seemed, and each course was better than the last. The topper was the Creme Brulee. I had never, and haven't since, tasted anything so wonderful! Best dining experience ever, and the company of my sister was great.

I wouldn't say it was "fine" dining, but one of my favorite restaurants of all time is Boudros on the River Walk in San Antionio. My boyfriend and I stumbled on it, and it was so good. The steak was cooked to prefection with wonderful spices, and the roasted rosemary potatoes were so crip on the outside and creamy on the inside. The finally was a perfectly cooked blueberry creme brulee. Perfectly crisp crust, but no heat at all in the filling. It was so good, the next time I went to San Antonio 2 years later, I had to check to make sure it was just as good. And it was.

I have had so many lovely special dinners, particularly because of my profession.

One of my most memorable meals was at a little Inn in the mountains of Virginia. When you ordered rainbow trout, they went and got a live one out of a tank that was caught that morning. Simply sauteed in a cast iron skillet with a simple cornmeal coating, sauteed in butter and herbs. Absolutely fabulous.

Love the aprons. I will eat anything that doesn't eat me first and enjoy all types of experiences. There is a little restaurant in West Palm Beach called Captain Charley's reef grill where if you sit at the bar you get to see the chefs create everything. The seafood is fresh and to die for!! We wound up eating there every day of our stay because everything was superb!

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